Hospitals struggle to tackle rising dengue count : The Tribune India

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Hospitals struggle to tackle rising dengue count

Chandigarh: Nineteen new cases of dengue were reported from the tricity and the surrounding areas today, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 844. Chandigarh reported 16 new cases while Mohali district reported three new cases of dengue today.

Hospitals struggle to tackle rising dengue count

Patients at the Emergency of the GMSH, Sector 16, on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan



Charu Chhibber

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21

Nineteen new cases of dengue were reported from the tricity and the surrounding areas today, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 844. Chandigarh reported 16 new cases while Mohali district reported three new cases of dengue today. 

Besides, hundreds of fever cases are being reported from the tricity every day, leading to a rush of patients at OPDs of hospitals. Long queues of patients are seen outside the OPDs every day, especially at Government Multi Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, where a special “fever OPD” has been set up.

The spurt in dengue and fever cases in the tricity has exposed the lack of preparedness of the health authorities even as the latter continue to claim that the situation is under control. Not only are the hospitals struggling to deal with the overcrowding, there is also a paucity of staff in almost all government health care centres. 

A team of Chandigarh Tribune visited hospitals in the tricity and found overcrowding at all health care centres, mainly due to the high count of fever cases. Doctors and medical staff were found overworked. Patients had no option but to lie on stretchers in the Emergency. 

“My son is suffering from high grade fever for the past two days, but there is no one to attend to him here. The doctor came once last evening. Since then, my son has been lying here reeling under high fever. The nursing staff are rude. They say it is common fever, not a deadly disease that requires constant monitoring,” said a distraught Rajpal Kaur, a resident of Mani Majra. Her son is admitted to the GMSH.

Attendant of another patient Sukhraj Singh said his wife had been admitted to the Emergency of the hospital and had been lying on a stretcher for the past 14 hours. “We were told her reports were expected today and only after that, the doctor would examine her,” he said.

The Chief Medical Officer, Panchkula, Dr VK Bansal, said no new case of dengue was reported and only 23 fever cases had been registered today. “We have put up informative hoardings and banners across the city to create awareness among residents about the preventive measures for vector-borne diseases,” he said.

He said special fogging and anti-larval drives had been initiated and several areas had been made larva-free. 

Demand for platelets rises, fear grips residents

With the number of dengue cases rising over the past few weeks, a fear psychosis has gripped residents. While doctors insist most cases of dengue can be managed by close monitoring and without platelet transfusion, anxious families of patients are scurrying to arrange platelets

Many doctors, both in the public as well as the private health sector, are receiving requests from anxious family members of patients with suspected dengue for platelet transfusion even if the count is manageable. “Every day, we get several such requests,” said a PGI doctor on condition of anonymity.

Another doctor from the GMSH said as soon as a patient was diagnosed with dengue, family members started looking for donors or ways to arrange platelets from blood banks. “There is widespread panic among residents,” he said. This has resulted in a rise in the demand for platelets — a component of blood essential for the treatment of dengue —  by 30 to 40 per cent. Dr RR Sharma from the Department of Transfusion Medicine, PGI, confirmed the development. “Every day, we are getting a demand for 50 to 60 units of platelets,” he said. 

MP holds review meeting 

In the wake of the rising number of dengue cases in the city, local MP Kirron Kher on Wednesday called a review meeting to take stock of the situation and pulled up health officials. 

An agitated Kher questioned the health officials, including the Director, Health Services, Dr Vanita Gupta, and the nodal officer, anti-malaria wing, Dr Gaurav Aggarwal, on measures being taken to control the twin threats of dengue-chikangunya in the city.

Dr Aggarwal informed her that so far, 961 cases of dengue have been reported from health centres in the city, which included 184 confirmed cases from Chandigarh.

The meeting of the District-Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee was attended by Deputy Commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi, the Director, Health Services, Dr Vanita Gupta, and the anti-malaria wing in-charge, Dr Gaurav Aggarwal. 

Kher also directed the department to start a health care unit in collaboration with the Bharat Vikas Parishad to provide the best possible medical care at nominal rates. The pilot project will be launched from the rehabilitation colony in Dhanas within a week. 

She suggested that evening OPDs should be started at all primary health centres and hospitals to provide medical facilities to people who were unable to reach the Civil Hospital and PHCs during duty hours. In view of the large number of senior citizens living alone in Chandigarh, Kher suggested that a pilot project may be started to provide medical facilities at fixed nominal charges to these elderly people on the doorstep by involving retired doctors through the Red Cross Society.

She also directed the DHS to issue an advisory to all government and private employers to get migrant workers medically examined before employing them. This will avoid multiplication of communicable diseases. She also stressed the need for providing general physicians in all medical care centres round the clock for the convenience of residents of slum areas to lessen the burden on hospitals.    

Total dengue count: 844

Chandigarh 184

New 16

Mohali district 582 

New

Panchkula 78

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